Thursday, December 15, 2005

Be careful what you wish for,... might just get it. Yesterday I lamented the poor job I did as a parent and a husband, but left off with, "Tomorrow is another day, and while there is another run at the start of it, there is also another chance to do the other important things right." Such a self-righteous post, I had to pay.

So it's midnight and Finn is screaming. I do grumble a bit but take care of the feeding and put him back down. He still doesn't want to sleep. Haiden and Finn start crying together at 1:15 and I'm at it again, giving Haiden some water as Kiera checks Finn, then I'm volunteering to rock him and feed Finn some more. I'm waiting for his belly to burst like in the "Alien" movies, since he's had about 16 ounces since 6pm. Finally, the clock on the microwave reads 2:15 and everyone is down.

After getting up a few hours later I sit with the coffee in the dark house, wondering if the moon is bright enough for me to see the track. Today is my first set of a classic Lydiard workout, 50 sprint/50 float. The goal is getting a strong anaerobic stimulus without accumulating a huge amount of lactate. This is typically called a "freshener", which wakes up the legs while building and exercising the neuromuscular connectors, but without the lasting fatigue of longer interval/repetitions or the accumutation of lactate that accompanies an anaerobic time trial.

Lydiard says these should only take 10-15 minutes, and you should feel good afterwards. Most of what I've read says to shoot for 1.5-2 miles, sprinting 50 then floating 50. So four efforts and four "floats" per lap. I decided before I started I would shoot for two miles, but would call it a day early if I started to bog down. I haven't done much real "sprinting", which I classify as faster than my "striders", and for the floats I figured I would concentrate on stepping lightly and keeping my stride long and strong, while not neccessarily fast.

The workout was hard, but it felt much less taxing (physically and mentally) than the 2 mile time trial I did earlier. Knowing that almost as soon as I had accelerated that I would get a short break kept me from stressing too much, and I didn't feel like I was dragging during the floats until the last 400. I did check my watch at the end of the two mile workout and was pleased to see 11:03, which is exactly the time of my time trial for the same distance earlier in the week. I did note how much better I felt after this workout than I did after the straight time trial, and I could see how a runner could do this type of workout almost year-round without bringing his conditioning down.

So a good day after a bad night. In other news, Angie, a Tucson mom/ultra-runner/blogger sent me this link to a story in our Tucson Citizen paper that mentions I was the first Arizonan in the Tucson half-marathon, and that I won the Southern Arizona Roadrunners' Desert Grand Prix, which is a series of ten races (really nine since the marathon and half-marathon are run concurrently) where the runner with the highest accumulated placings wins some sort of award from a local running shop. This is pretty cool, as the competition started in January and it was one of my year's goals before I even started Lydiard training. I think the key to winning it was not getting hurt, and having two small children that make leaving town on a race weekend difficult! There's an awards ceremony after the club runs through Winterhaven (a neighborhood in Tucson with crazy holiday lights at night) on Sunday. I'm bringing Haiden for sure, and I'm hoping Kiera and Finn will come too so we can break out the double-jogger.

Training: 10 miles, 1:09:34, 6:57 pace, with 2 miles of 50 sprint/50 float at 11:03


robtherunner said...

Nice job on the Grand Prix title. Consistency and speed you got em both, and it sounds like their paying off.

tb1 said...

I read the article in the Tucson Star. Congratulations! both for the grand prix and last night. You done good Mike.

angie's pink fuzzy said...

Family outing! Hopefully, Ash will be doing well, and we'll be able to meet you for the run through Winterhaven. I'll probably be slower than usual, since I'm running 15.2 miles on trail Sunday morning. Ah, heck, it'll be a good recovery run.

Thomas said...

Fantastic news Mike. Now you really are a champion.
And well done with the kids - believe me, I know exactly what it can be like.

Evan said...

The sprint/float workouts are good fun when you're in shape. They are great preparation for shorter races, especially cross country. You can do as little as 5 laps of them and get a lot of benefit.

Mike said...

Thank you everyone. Thomas, you are my parenting inspiration. Hope to see you there Angie, I'll be on the north side of the path starting at 7 and hopefully moving fast!